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[Home Movies: Medicus collection: New York World's Fair, 1939-40] (Reel 6) (1939)

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03:00:52:29 - 03:56:47:22
World's Fairs: New York, 1939-40; Home movies- amateur films.

Can marked: "Amusement #1"

Excellent color footage of pavilions, performances, amusement rides in Kodachrome. Salvador Dali pavilion at 3:01:39:12. Racy footage of burlesque acts, sunbathing.

03:00:52:29 - 03:01:39:11 color silent 1939-40
Slate- Main Loop of Amusement Area. International pavilions. Statue of man holding shield atop building with sign for Blarney Stone, Irish Village. man speaking w/microphone at Philippines pavilion Asian temple region. Buddhist temple pagoda.

03:01:39:12 - 03:04:13:15 color silent 1939-40
Salvador Dali's "Dream of Venus" Surrealist Pavilion. Woman in bikini swimsuit & robe waving to passers-by outside building with mermaid, Venus de Milo exterior artwork. Title "Dali's surrealistic swim suits opened new vistas." Woman in open-chested swimsuit swimming & performing underwater in front of surrealistic sculptures (turtles, etc.) by Dali. Young woman in bikini sitting in clamshell crater thing removing veil, brushing her hair & talking.

03:04:13:16 - 03:04:44:09 color silent 1939-40
VS Sideshow barkers speak to crowd from stage. Two women wear bikinis, tropical leis, skirts. Announcer speaks to crowd outside Seminole Village Pavilion (fake grass Indian hut) with American Indian man & woman on display. People in large crowd move about, stop to look at Seminole booth.

03:04:44:10 - 03:05:23:08 color silent 1939-40
Pavilion with large mural advertising "Olga" the Headless Girl. Framed photograph of headless Olga sitting in chair in laboratory with hoses running into neck. "Nurse" in uniform stands beside real Olga, taking her pulse & operating machine to make her hands move.

03:05:23:09 - 03:06:54:19 color silent 1939-40
Announcer stands at sideshow booth, promoting "Frozen Alive" stunt, with "Frozen Alive" girls in swimsuits. Inside exhibit- Sideshow barker speaks on dark stage, introduces topless woman & describes how she will be frozen in block of ice behind him. Woman lays down inside half of ice block as male assistants close other half over her legs. Woman wriggles inside ice.

03:06:54:20 - 03:09:34:10 color silent 1939-40
VS Admiral Byrd's Penguin Island pavilion. Announcer stands on stage with Alaskan Husky, talking about dog. Dog yawns. INT: penguins in simulated habitat. (molded fiberglass to resemble ice floe.) Man in striped T-shirt feeding penguins in water small fish from bucket. Penguins swim in moat, eat fish, groom.

03:09:34:11 - 03:11:14:16 color silent 1939-40
VS Dingong's "African" pavilion. Man in safari suit & hat talks to crowd. African man in horned hat & grass skirt stands behind him. Native men in tribal dress dance to conga drums. Man in tribal dress performs outdoor shamanistic dance over "dead" man as group of children watch. Man rises back to life, jumps & starts dancing.

03:11:14:17 - 03:12:19:18 color silent 1939-40
VS Children at Fair. Children walking on platform, boarding an amusement ride (Go-Karts?) Two Black boys sitting on bench. Two boys in scout uniforms sitting on bench. Woman in gypsy dress & carrying bottle of wine & cup. boy watching roller coaster ascend (brief) Children driving Go-Karts on track. Swinging capsule ride. Sign for Laff Land funhouse, with clown dancing between two skeletons. Children ride in tethered cars on circular track.

03:12:19:19 - 03:13:33:05 color silent 1939-40
VS Savoy dance club pavilion- WS crowd walking on fairgrounds. EXT pavilion- figures moving- simulating dancers. Sign advertising "World's Greatest Colored Dancers." Black jazz musicians (bassist, drummer, guitarist & trumpet player) perform, couple dances fast dance (Lindy Hop?) outside pavilion.

03:13:33:06 - 03:14:19:16 color silent 1939-40
Title- "The Drinking Crowd." Children & adults waiting, taking turns drinking from two outdoor water fountains.

03:14:19:17 - 03:15:36:18 color silent 1939-40
Crowds walking past Chicken Inn restaurant, down midway from Savoy pavilion, NTG Congress of Beauty booth. Title- "The visitors were more interesting than some of the attractions." Elderly man in suit & sunglasses reclining on bench. Man in cap takes paper bag from woman & child. Woman & girl in matching dresses. Overweight couple walking. Brother & sister holding hands. People being given ride in motorized cart. Families, soldiers in uniform walking down midway.

03:15:36:19 - 03:16:00:09 color silent 1939-40
NTG Congress of Beauty sign. EXT: ornate pavilion. Barker in straw hat speaking on stage, flanked by two young women wearing red, white & blue feathered headdresses.

03:16:00:10 - 03:20:36:17 color silent 1939-40
Title: "These ladies are called sun worshippers." VS young Caucasian women in sheer bikinis, tropical bottoms relaxing & sunbathing outdoors. Blonde woman in bikini dances w/ colored scarf. Woman sunbathing outdoors. Women in bikinis sitting on rope swing. Young woman holding tree branch, shaking fist & imitating Tarzan. Title: "Far from the fold." Sheep on leash grazing. Women on platform in BG. Woman in bikini notices camera, turns her head away, then poses. Women relaxing, smoking, eating etc. Woman holding chicken. Title: "They like jacks." Woman playing jacks, smiling on concrete bench. Woman laying under umbrella on wooden platform. Two women in swimsuits playing croquet. Title: "Le Danse Barebareic" Two White women in shear bikinis & grass skirts dancing outdoors in front of Pacific Island tribal artwork backdrop as another woman plays conga drum.

03:20:36:18 - 03:21:30:11 color silent 1939-40
People walking on Midway. Woman & three children sitting in sun on wooden bench. Boy buying drink from soda jerk in bow tie at Orange Crush stand. Bearded man in suspenders & straw hat walking. Three women walking away from camera, one wearing slacks. Young Black boy in overalls & cap looking up, holding mother's hand while waiting to get into booth.

03:21:30:12 - 03:29:45:28 color silent 1939-40
EXT: VS Sun Valley "Winter Wonderland" Swiss Alps-style village. Snowman in front. PAN up to clock tower. Crowds walking past quaint buildings inside. EXT: building surrounded by evergreen trees, simulated snow-covered mountain. Male emcee/orchestra leader singing at microphone. Ice show: Female performers in matching pink & black outfits skating in two chains in ice rink, spectators in stands. Matador fighting fake "bull" (two people in costume) in ice rink. Man, couple figure skating. Man spinning with woman suspended by her legs from his shoulders. Women in white angelic costumes holding white feathered plumes & performing on ice. Women in Swiss bonnet spinning. Couple in Western gear figure-skating. Male stunt skater stacking barrels, jumping them- first in pile then in line (slo-mo). Barrels spell out "Sun Valley." Couples figure skating. VS male, female skiers perform ski jumps on downhill ramp slope. HA Crowd in audience watching.

03:29:45:29 - 03:31:04:17 color silent 1939-40
EXT: Crystal Palace pavilion. Sign advertising Dove Dancer. Inside:(dark)Female dancer in burlesque costume performs in front of large bell. Male announcer. Group of women dance in burlesque routine. Woman reclining in cage. Other performers.

03:31:04:18 - 03:34:23:04 color silent 1939-40
LA Parachute Jump in operation. Parachute descending from top of tower. Chutes being raised back up into position. Young women buying tickets for rides at booth. Title: "Rubber Necks on Parade." VS people watching jumpers. Children on bench looking & pointing. Men, women, children looking up, watching parachutes. Black family on bench looking up. EXT: Victoria Falls pavilion. Three Black men in African tribal dress playing conga drums & singing.

03:34:23:05 - 03:39:15:12 color silent 1939-40
EXT: Norman Bel Geddes' Crystal Lassies Pavilion. VS Female burlesque show & "cute" intertites. Sign describes show "Nine girls dancing solo in five minute relays..." Nude female mannequin with sign "She's Real."(filmmaker reflected in mirror.) Stage performance (dark) topless woman reclining on stage, dancing. Topless woman spinning in place, dancing in green shear skirt. Dancer reflected in floor mirror. Blonde topless dancer. Woman dancing & waving scarves. Woman in sequined dress dancing.

03:39:15:13 - 03:40:29:07 color silent 1939-40
EXT: Wild West Rodeo. VS man in cowboy hat waving crowds toward pavilion. Two young women in Western gear. Band conductor on stage. Men & women on horseback assembling in front of pavilion. Children sitting on horseback behind wooden railing.

03:40:29:08 - 03:44:31:14 color silent 1939-40
Cuban Village pavilion. VS artwork of Cuban dancers. Men & women in Cuban costumes (men in ruffled sleeves, women in bikinis & dresses dancing passionately outdoors on pavilion platform. Woman in bikini dancing by drummers. Titles: "Dance Sacrificio," "Dance Rurales," "La Conga." "Shoeing the Mare." Circle of female dancers moving in, out.

03:44:31:15 - 03:44:32:07 color silent 1939-40
People practicing archery with bows & arrows on colored targets outdoors.

03:44:32:08 - 03:48:08:16 color silent 1939-40
VS Glenn Gray jazz band playing on outdoor bandstand. Pairs of teenage dancers (mostly female) dance to music- Jitterbug, slow dancing, Lindy Hop, etc. Bandleader Glenn Gray signs autographs for fans.

03:48:08:17 - 03:51:06:15 color silent 1939-40
Misc. Fair pavilions, amusements. EXT: Washington Hall. EXT: White house with American flag waving from roof. EXT: Meteor Speedway. Automatic figure laughing & pointing outside amusement ride w/ British flag. Two Black boys standing on midway. WS Cyclone roller coaster. "Giant 30" Monsters sign." Shoot the Works, Dodgem Midway games. Spinning saucer amusement ride. Monorail on course. EXT: Dutch-style windmill turning.

03:51:06:16 - 03:52:08:00 color silent 1939-40
Title: Fountain (Liberty) Lake. WS lake with people in paddleboats, Parachute Jump on horizon. Two people in paddleboat leaving pier. Young boy standing on pier. Worker pushing paddleboat with wooden pole. Group of people in tour boat traveling on lake. Gondola on water. Florida Pavilion on lake. WS building on lakeshore with sun breaking through clouds.

03:52:25:18 - 03:56:47:22 color silent 1939-40
"Night in the Amusement Area." VS pavilions, rides with neon lights at night. Freak shows, Adm. Byrd's penguin house, spinning ride with lights on arms, carousel. EXT: American Museum of Natural History. Waist-down rear view of young women in swimsuits standing on stage. Burlesque dancers performing with feathered wings. Woman in display window checking her makeup in hand mirror, removing her bra. Glass Blowing display. "Frozen Alive" girls standing wrapped in towels. Clown sitting outside booth. Aquacade. WS line of dancers in swimsuits perform on stage. Fireworks display in night sky. End of reel 2.


This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Audio/Visual: sound, color

Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0


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Reviewer: Spuzz - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - June 7, 2014
Subject: Son Worshippers!
Here we go!

We start off by seeing Chinese barkers! He has 2 girls up with him.. From there we go to the ultra bizarre Salvatore Dali Aquarium where thereÃÂs topless swimmers swimming aroundÃÂ Wow. At the tail end of this scene, watch for the ULTRA bored model whos somewhat buried up to her waist, for what reason I (and probably she) cant fathom. From there, we go to the "Strange" exhibit.. yes thats what its called, where theyve got HULA dancers! Strange! From there, a short trip to the Semiole stage.. no idea what that is.. Medicus again cuts to some black people in the audience.. not too sure what was up with that. From there, we go to quite possibly the greatest thing Ive ever seen, the exhibit for Olga, The Headless Girl! The building and poster all look priceless, but whats inside? We find out!!! WHOA!!! Experiments in the revival of organisms would be proud! Its an obvious fake though.. Love the twitches! From there, we go to the "Frozen Alive!" exhibit, where, yes, girls are put in blocks of "ice". Suuuure. Watch them twitch! Lol. From there, we go to Admiral Byrds Penguin Island, where first we see a Husky dog.. to no doubt prove that these are ARCTIC animals we're dealing with here! After that, we get to see Penguins In Actions! They swim, waddle etc. You know.. like penguins. Nothing extraordinary. From there, we go to "Dilgong's" (what kind of a name is that?) where thereÃÂs an "African" show going on. Yes, African voodoo ceremonies here. Betcha 50 bucks they also come from Jersey. We then watch some kids go on some ride.. no idea what they get on though,.. we just see them go through the turnstiles lol. From there, again, we see more black people! Hmmmm.. From there, we see some NEAT mototama type cars. They look totally fun! Kids could drive around! Wee! Whoa, they could go fast.. From there, we go to a rocket ride.. Uh.. Oh man, that looks nauseating, Id just rather skip that ride, alright? (actually I probably wouldnÂt!!) Hey! We're still in Laffland! Yay! More motorama cars!! Whoa, these look different.. faster!! Weee!! We wander through the crowds, till we hit the Savoy, where theres "The World's Greatest Colored Dancers" and actually, their dancing IS fun.. We go to the water fountain to get some water, and cutting from the Savoy to this scene makes us realize that of course, this is the white people water fountain.. Then to eat! Perhaps the FAMOUS chicken inn? From there, we people watch for a while, and uh some of the people ARE strange, check out the two ladies with matching prison garb on! Whoa!!

From there.. Uh, it's the "NTG Congress Of Beauty", which is similar to the Midget land in reel one, except this one is dedicated to uhhh, "son worshippers". This is somewhat hard to explain, but these seem to be women with flesh colored bras frolicking around in the area.. And thats it.. They may be resting, talking to another, playing jacks.. This is all too strange, and probably the most sexist part of the fair. The whole thing left me with a bad thing in my mouth. Theyre still at it! Relaxing, dancing and uh.. playing croquet! We FINALLY get out of there and go back to the crowds.. We see a rather curiously dressed lady and her kids, we also see some people on the bench then off to the Orange Crush counter for refreshments! We also see a bushy bearded fellow and some backsides of some ladies, and another black kid! After that, we go to Sun Valley A Winter Wonderland. Here we see a mini rink. Theres a show there with lots of skating dancers, (or are they dancing skaters?) and a neat barrel jumping demo. Ive asked this before (and yes! In another review!) about why this neat thing is not done anymore. The whole ice skating thing is quite extensive (but sort of neat, as they must have some sort of elaborate cooling device for the ice, as it seems to be quite nice out). It also seems that Mr. Medicus decided to sit with the band while taking these pictures.. We then see a pretty lame ski jumping demo. The skiers dont jump past 8-10 feet.. We then (sigh) go to another girly show at the Crystal Palace Nothing really extraordinary here. The best part of this reel comes after that, we have a parachute ride! This actually LOOKS and DROPS like a parachute, and looks DAMN scary. Holy cow. People are forever craning their necks to look at it! We then look outside the curious abandoned looking Victoria Falls before having a silent musical interlude by some black men in native gear, We then go to the Crystal Lassies exhibit where, yes, MORE naked girls await! Yawwwwn. We then go to the rodeo. We see a barker and two rodeo girls of dubious quality. We go into the rodeo show and watch some horses begin a show. I guess Medicus got bored of this because the next thing we see is the Cuban Village where we see a variety of dances, including, yes, the Limbo! Somewhat awkward staging though. From there, we have.. Archery set-ups!! Not too sure for what purpose though. After that, we spend some time with Glenn Gray and his orchestra. All that music just makes people want to dance!! So they do! The dance floor gets quite crowded with the experienced and inexperienced. Interesting how most of the dancers were same sex.. Glenn Gray does such an awesome job that everyone wants his autograph afterwards! We then go to Washington Hall.. Nothing extraordinary there THEN we go to a great little tour of Midway Attractions!! Lets see.. Meteor Speedway!! (Nice animatronic model!) The obligatory black kids! Laff In The Park! The Cyclone! ( I can see another ride to the right, not too sure what that is) Goant 30 Monsters! (Side story, I remember being suckered into seeing A Man Eating Chicken once at a midway) A skeet shooting gallery called Shoot The Works! Dodgem! (were these bumper cars?) We see a great ticket booth, nice and round, for an unidentified ride, Ohhh it was for the Snapper! A tea cup ride! We then get a view of some childrens butts, (!!) before heading to the Aerial Sky Ride, which is like one of those kiddie rocket rides that goes round and round, you can go up and down. This looks to be uh, youre on s rocket, and its attached to a cable and its going FAST. Lol, We see some people looking at the ride, in the distance there appears a restaurant with the GREAT name of Piels Rondevoo Then after viewing how somewhat sparse the fair is attended, we see a Windmill under operation. Noticed a flag there, not too sure whose it is. From there, we go to Fountain lake. Was this man made? This was a huge lake! People paddleboating and canoeing across it.During that time, it starts to get dark, and medicus then explores the park after dark, going back to his favorite places it seems. The Magazine covers, the strange objects, Yes, the glass blowers of America, and even gets to ANOTHER showing of the Aquacade! That man seriously loved that show it seems. And then we finally close off this reel with fireworks. Huzzah!!